The Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), the political party of former President Ferdinand Marcos, has asked the Supreme Court to order the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to go back to manual voting and abandon the automated election system (AES).
In a petition for mandamus, the KBL said the automated elections in 2010 and 2013 that utilized the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines were tainted with irregularities and it is possible that fraud will again be committed if the election next year will be held using counting machines.
The KBL was joined by the Movement for National Salvation (MNS), Partido ng Manggagawa represented by its president, Jose Malvar Villegas, retired Colonel Reynaldo Cabauatan, Bishop Nilo Tayag, lawyer Oliver Lozano, retired Colonel Rodrigo Bonifacio, Ricardo Fulgencio IV and Oswaldo Carbonell in filing the petition.
“Despite the sordid record and background of Smartmatic, respondents Comelec and Smartmatic are pursuing the same conduct of elections for the May 2016 elections, using the same unreliable PCOS machine of Smartmatic, that will once more deprive the people of their constitutional right to elect their officials, freely and personally, in a free, honest and clean elections,” the petitioners said.
The petitioners warned that there is a big chance that the electoral exercise in 2016 will be compromised if the machines provided by Smartmatic will again be used.
“Unless the Honorable Supreme Court issue a writ of prohibition against the use of PCOS machine by the respondents, and a writ of mandamus to compel the respondent Comelec to go back to manual voting, the elections in 2016 will surely be a repetition of the anomalous 2010 and 2013 elections, and for the next six years from 2016, this nation will be governed by unelected representatives, who are not voted by the people, in a free, honest and clean elections,”they pointed out.
They asked the SC to halt Comelec from “disbursing or spending billions of pesos for the purpose of the AES and to declare as null and void all the PCOS repair contracts entered into by the poll body with Smartmatic on July 29, 2015 for the supply of more than 90,000 Optical Mark Readers amounting to more than P 9 billion.”